In Praise of the Informative Book Review

| 12/21/2007 4:44:04 PM

Before praising John Barry’s recent review of Simon Sebag Montefiore's Young Stalin biography for the Baltimore City Paper, I should probably disclose that the last biography I read was Chester Brown’s brilliant comic-strip biography of Louis Riel. Before that, there was something about Jackie Robinson and his imaginary stick-ball friend, maybe when I was about five years old? 

Perhaps I’m just not the biography-reading type. It’s hard for me to get excited about the secret lives of sports figures, politicians, celebrities, and Civil War generals. So forgive me as I pay Barry’s article perhaps the most underhanded compliment you can give a book review: It’s so well-written and informative that it could stand alone. I finished feeling educated, rather than teased. I felt like I didn’t need to go read Montefiore’s book. Barry capably details Montefiore’s insights into the life of Stalin, then gets down to the brass tacks explaining why this book is important.

So, thank you informative book review. And for biography-lovers, well, you can’t ruin a good book by disclosing the plot. After all, we knew more or less what going to happen to Stalin from page one anyway.

Jason Ericson

Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!

Facebook Instagram Twitter

click me